Knitting and a Movie
Monday, September 29, 2003
      ( 6:43 AM ) Rebecca  
Mundane Monday
Well, I don't have a ton of new things to post, but you can see a little more progress on Moss Stitch and Cable:

Also, my husband won a custom bar from Magic Hat Beer with his Flash animation... not sure where we are going to put it, but he was pretty proud of winning.


Friday, September 26, 2003
      ( 6:06 AM ) Rebecca  
This is one of those Fridays where I am just so glad this week is over.

Yesterday, I got the Dalegarn "Strikkeoppskrifter for Baby" Book 135 in the mail. I have a new niece (well, she was born Monday) and I am thinking on putting all the knitting for myself on hold to make something for her. (I love baby knitting, because I am a sucker for anything too cute for a grown woman to wear, and because you get quick results so it's very satisfying.) Since hubby is away in Arizona, I scanned in a few of my favourites to show him on the web, so the colours are wonky (our scanner is good for line art and text which is its real purpose, it's mostly for his work)... but here are the two I am really leaning towards.
This one is the one I am thinking of making because it uses the least yarn. (The cost of the yarn is a factor right now, unfortunately).

This one is the one I REALLY want to make, but it uses 6 balls for the 6 month size (well some of the colours you could use remnants but seeing as I don't happen to have any of those yarns in my stash it doesn't really matter). But it definitely looks the most fun and challenging to knit.

If anyone else wants this book, I ordered mine from Patternworks. You could also get it through Bea Ellis Knitwear.

But here is the most important news of the day:
There is going to be a new Dr. Who TV series, written by a Queer as Folk writer. I'm either going to have to move to the UK or shell out the big bucks to get satellite or digital cable so I can get BBC America (I wonder if it will get broadcast there?) Of course, maybe it will be horrible... but I have to see it. #


Thursday, September 25, 2003
      ( 5:23 AM ) Rebecca  
Moss grows on a rolling knitting needle
So here's a quick preview of the Moss Stitch and Cable sweater:

The picture isn't the best (still wish there was manual focus on this digital camera)... the cables pop a LITTLE more than you see here, but they don't pop as much as I'd like. The Wensleydale is lovely, lovely yarn and soft as anything, but I'm not sure I'd use it for cables again. Ah well, it's wonderful to knit with anyhow. #


Wednesday, September 24, 2003
      ( 11:05 AM ) Rebecca  
Bad in Plaid
Well, the Rowan Plaid book I ordered came in today... whoo hoo! And my ebay stash-clearing auctions ended with a total that almost equals the Gedifra Dandy I wanted to bid on... so maybe my yarn habit will support itself after all. (I still have the very cool early 1960's pattern books that no one bid on, if anyone likes vintage patterns let me know.)

All this good news makes yesterday's sad news a little better. The last mice died yesterday. The worst one was the second to last one to die; yesterday morning the oldest, most advanced one (that was my favourite) died in my hand. He was starting to grow real fur, I pet him before he died and he felt like velvet. (And we were the ones to tell the kids not to get too attached because small baby animals without moms often die.) We may go to the pet store and buy a consolation rodent, but probably after my husband gets back from his trip to Arizona.

Meanwhile in knitting news I started another project... decided to break down and use the Wensleydale for the moss stitch and cable sweater after all. (I wanted a break from the shawl.) I did a bit of it while we watched A Mighty Wind, which I appreciated even more after helping a friend's husband with his bluegrass festival last summer. (We watched Waiting for Guffman last week as well; I love these mockumentaries that Chrisopher Guest and Eugene Levy do... they are pure genius. Especially given that there is never a script.) #


Monday, September 22, 2003
      ( 8:57 AM ) Rebecca  
Only one lost...
Well, yesterday evening one mouseling died... he was the runt and was the skinniest one. He slept a lot and didn't eat much (can you tell we are getting attached to these mice?). Finally, yesterday evening, he just died. The other three have been hanging in there, we are guessing they are around a week old, possibly minus a few days.

Hopefully these baby mice photos are cute and not gross to you all:

They look mostly the same, they are definitely a little larger and their backs are darker. They have some very fine down on their backs.

I also started my bear sweater but have only gotten the corrugated ribbing done, since I didn't have the right size needles for the main body.

Finally, I promised progress on my shawl... looks mostly the same. (I figured everyone was getting sick of my office rug so I used a different backdrop):

I will need to wind another ball of laceweight soonish. Maybe I can enlist my son to help, since it tangles so easily. I keep getting off by one stitch (dropping one or miscounting in pattern) and having to carefully rip out stitches, so it goes slower than I'd like. Also I've had 2 occasions where the yarn just broke and I had to rejoin it. Does anyone else have this problem with laceweight? #


Friday, September 19, 2003
      ( 6:54 AM ) Rebecca  
Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!
The site may get slashdotted, since it is loading really slowly, but if you haven't heard of Talk Like a Pirate Day, click here. (There's your random useless trivia for today).

The mice made it through another night. If they survive, I think I will celebrate by making Jade Starmore's Cats and Mice Vest for one of my nieces. (This is about the only kit I can afford to order from Virtual Yarns anyway.) I don't think I will order it until the mice have definitely made it, though, because I think it would be really sad to be knitting mice if all these baby mice die.

I was hoping to post a more impressive pic of the shawl, but made an error somewhere during knitting last night, had to take apart most of the knitting I had done, so I'm only 4 more rows ahead. Next week, there should be something to show. (I did watch The Banger Sisters, which is a much better comedic drama (or dramatic comedy?) than yesterday's. Geoffrey Rush's character is great.) #


Thursday, September 18, 2003
      ( 6:27 AM ) Rebecca  
Mice, Mice, Baby
Yesterday, I was working in the office when my husband was mowing the lawn. He came in to ask me to come outside, so I followed him, and he showed me a baby mouse lying on top of the lawnmower that he had just pulled out of the shed. It was squeaking and moving. He explained there had been a dead mouse near it on the lawnmower (obviously killed by some animal). I went in to find a shoebox to put the poor mouse in (because how can you just leave a baby animal to die?) and as I found the box, he brought not one, but three baby mice in. Then a minute later he came back in with another. So now we have a box with four blind mice in it (although you can't see one in the picture because he was off in the corner):

They've made it through the night on baby formula, although there is no guarantee that they will actually survive. And if they do, what will we do with them? Mice have gotten into our house and eaten my tomato seedlings last year and tons of food in our kitchen and basement. So normally I am perfectly happy to let the cat chase mice in the yard, but there is something about babies that makes you want to help them.
Oh well, they're pretty cute, although they've been stealing time away from knitting. I still managed to do another 10 rows on the shawl last night while watching Riding in Cars with Boys. I can't recommend it, it was an OK movie, but not great, and it was really annoying how it was supposed to take place in central Connecticut but they gave everyone New York accents. They worked HARD to have those incorrect accents, too! Other than that annoying aspect, it was a mediocre plot, filled with unlikeable characters.
So I have 11 "step increases" (as Sharon Miller describes them in the pattern) done out of 27. Of course, each segment will take longer, so I'm not sure how to figure out what percentage done I am. Maybe I'll say about 25% done... I still have edging to do when all is said and done. I'm sure there is some mathematical way to figure this out, and I ought to be able to do it with my engineering school background, so maybe I will figure it out on paper when I am bored at some point. #


Wednesday, September 17, 2003
      ( 5:37 AM ) Rebecca  
So after my post yesterday about how I've decided I'm anti-stashing, I've decided to destash some of my yarns (I listed a couple of vintage patterns earlier too). It's mostly yarn that was intended for socks... I have enough sock yarn to put everyone I know in handknit socks and then some. (I'm also hoping to justify spending money on some yarn for the Rowan Plaid book, which I broke down and ordered yesterday.)

Anyway, if you are interested, you can look at my auctions here.

Meanwhile, I've been winding jumperweight yarn into balls in anticipation of the release of the new Bearly Knits fair isle pattern at the virtual conference today. Done a few more rows on the shawl... but I think I'll wait to post until it looks significantly larger than in the previous picture. I am thinking of making a row counter bracelet (link found through Knitters Review forums) with some beads and things I have kicking around... as the shawl gets bigger it will be harder to do at least one full pattern (in other words, 8 rows, to include the increase) repeat at a sitting. #


Tuesday, September 16, 2003
      ( 6:15 AM ) Rebecca  
Goodness, gracious, eight balls of Wensleydale
So here's my dilemma, as I plan fall knitting. I have 8 100g balls of the discontinued Berroco Wensleydale stashed away, originally intended from Moss Stitch & Cable Sweater from Knitting in America. But I REALLY would rather knit Cromarty from The Celtic Collection. The problem is, Cromarty calls for 15 50g balls of Rowan Discontinued Designer DK. From the yardage information I got on a web search, I think I'll be a little under. I don't think I will have luck matching the colour and dye lot of my existing yarn. So I could very well start it and run out of yarn. (Already tried Webs, they are pretty much out of the Berroco Wensleydale, although they have a new Wensleydale of their own, but it's not going to match!) Should I throw caution to the winds and hope it all works out? Or should I do the safe thing and make the Moss Stitch and Cable Sweater which doesn't excite me as much as it did when I originally stashed the yarn? Buying new yarn isn't an option right now. And if I don't knit either one, what can I do with 8 balls of Wensleydale that will be fun and exciting and worth knitting?

Here is the reason why stashing is a bad thing. I have lots of yarn stashed that no longer interests me, or that I don't have designs on using any time soon. I went through a Bartlettyarns phase (I still love their yarn) where I made tons of kids sweaters with it (especially Maine Woods Woolies patterns, I made 2 penguin sweaters, but also the reindeer sweater in the gallery). Well, the kids have decided that Bartlettyarns is "too itchy." So now I have all these skeins and oddments of Bartlettyarns (and similar Green Mountain Spinnery yarns) that are great for those "Maine kids sweaters", and no reason to use them. And I have yarn stashed from projects when I was more of a beginner that no longer interest me. Or projects the kids thought they wanted and then changed their mind (like my son did after I knit the reindeer sweater, but at least they have the decency of changing minds BEFORE I knit it).

So I think I am going to try a "no more stashing" rule. If I am going to make it NOW, then buy the yarn. No stocking up for future projects that I will make when I have time. Not even if we are in Maine and that pattern is really cute and I just want to make it.

My big accomplishment yesterday was I made some goldenrod dye extract (that I hope to dye with later this week or next week), and I learned an important lesson. Who likes goldenrod flowers even more than natural dyers? Bees, and other yellow-and-black-striped-flying-insects-that-come-equipped-with-a-stinger. I kept ending up with handfuls of flowers that had little stripey stowaways. So I ended up lying them in the grass and waiting for the insects to get their fill of pollen before taking the flowers inside. (I also worked on a few more rows of the shawl while we ended up watching Escape from the Planet of the Apes on AMC, which was a really horrible movie, but a funny romp into 1970's bad movie music and horrible fashion. Not really worth watching unless you have basic cable and no rentals that you feel like watching and just need to relax in front of the TV). #


Monday, September 15, 2003
      ( 5:49 AM ) Rebecca  
Arsenic and Old Lace
It just so happened that when I was sat down to start my next project, we watched Arsenic and Old Lace, since that was the next movie to come from Netflix. This was NOT PLANNED, I swear! I didn't even realise the coincidence until after I was knitting and watching for a bit.

I don't expect to take the shawl to soccer practise, so I'll need another more portable project soon. (I picked back up my son's boring Harry Potter scarf since now it is cool enough to touch it without breaking into a horrible sweat, so that's Soccer Knitting for now).
I still have to sew together pieces for Mystery Project and there is another step that I am waiting for... so I've put that aside. My husband talked me into abandoning the Failed Argyle Experiment so I plan to use what I learned to design a new kilt hose pattern. The argyle patterning came out so nicely that it's a shame to frog the whole thing; maybe I'll just designate it a fun swatch to save.
For anyone who has been following the argyle project, here are the reasons it failed:
1. Top in pattern was not the proper top for Real dancing hose (needs a folded over cuff)
2. Socks were originally intended to go with a black-and-white tartan, but the black was natural black sheep's wool and that is really too brown
3. Pattern did not include calf measurement and I mindlessly didn't try to figure it out ahead of time (I could have used number of stitches divided by gauge to figure out that this pattern was NEVER going to yield the right calf size, but I foolishly assumed it would be fine)
4. I misread the pattern and left out a whole pattern repeat before starting work on the heel (but at this point I realised these would never work as knee socks so it didn't really matter).
I was thinking of just making a pair of ankle socks, but I think when all is said and done it would be a pair of poorly-fitting argyle ankle socks and for the amount of effort required to finish this sock and make the next it wouldn't be worth it, and even Mr. Always-Finishes-a-Project told me so.
Of course the result of all this is that I am obsessed with kilt hose and will probably start a new pair in the not-too-far-off-future, after figuring it all out on paper ahead of time! I also keep being drawn to this Jo Sharp pattern (from Book Two if anyone wants to know), although I really can't afford to buy any more yarn for new projects right now.



Friday, September 12, 2003
      ( 7:03 AM ) Rebecca  
Goodbye, Johnny Cash
It's ironic that while I was working on my i-cord last night my husband and I were watching a promo DVD of random music videos that included Johnny Cash's cover of NIN's "Hurt". We were talking about how neat it must be to have Johnny Cash call you up and ask to do a cover of your song, and I said, "I'd better hurry up and write some kind of amazing song so I can have Johnny Cash cover it." I'm not really a Johnny Cash fan, I don't like that style of music, but he was a good musician and a long-time, hardworking musician, and he definitely will be missed by many for that.

So I finished the edging for the Mystery Project:

I am making 4' of i-cord and now I have to do some sewing.

Meanwhile I wound a ball of lace yarn yesterday for the next project I am going to start. (I figure I've finished enough projects that I deserve to start a new one).

And Kim Hargreaves is going to be the death of me. She has designed another really cool book for Rowan, this time for Plaid yarn, which sounds lovely. (The colour cards look nice too).
I want to make Atmosphere, and Tidal Wave, and Hail, and Drizzle. Oh and maybe a couple of others as well. There is no way I can afford the yarn for these though, and my real favourites are the men's designs (which the small would be way too big on me)... so maybe I can withstand the temptation. #


Wednesday, September 10, 2003
      ( 9:56 AM ) Rebecca  
Free a Book!
I promise to not wax political here, as I am very opinionated, but I think this is a very cool idea. Go to this site for more info, but basically it is a semi-organised international event in which you dedicate a book to a future reader and leave it somewhere (like a café, or bus stop, or something) so that someone can pick it up and read it. What a cool concept! Hurry up and find something on your bookshelf you'd like to share, as it takes place tomorrow.

The other exciting event coming up this week is the KBTH Virtual FI Conference. Interested in Fair Isle, Aran, Gansey, Intarsia, or Shetland lace knitting? This is a great mailing list, and some of the wonderful people on that list are organising a virtual conference for those of us for financial/logistical reasons can't easily attend the more traditional conference (or those who just can't get enough of knitting conferences). I've been looking forward to it, I think it's going to be very cool. The kickoff day is this Friday.

No new pics to show today. I have been putting together a gallery with some of my older knitting projects (as well as ones that appear on the blog) and am adding a link to the toolbar. I worked some more on Mystery Project (I think I know what it will be) last night while watching the old classic, Buckaroo Banzai. (Now in case you haven't figured this out, I have a very broad taste in films. I happen to love the sci-fi cult movie genre in which this one falls.) #


Tuesday, September 09, 2003
      ( 1:42 PM ) Rebecca  
Not much news, but I have a button!
Yesterday was the day of dumb mistakes. Forgot to provisionally cast on when I did the second piece for step 3, so now that I've finished knitting it I have to figure out how to cobble that together (maybe I will just pick up along the cast on edge if it doesn't make for a lumpy graft). Then I started making the third welt for the next step, only to realise that stockinette in the round is KNIT ONLY (duh!!!!) Brain was obviously switched off yesterday. I did see Punch Drunk Love with Adam Sandler (the second movie I have seen him in where he was not annoying, the other being The Wedding Singer). If you like the weird camera shots and strange characters and plot twists of The Royal Tenenbaums, then watch Punch Drunk Love. Actually, just watch it anyway, because this is part of a disturbing trend. This is the second case of "actor tends to play really annoying characters in annoying movies, sells out box office, decides to take a break and be in a non-annoying movie, and the movie tanks" that I've seen recently (and commented on in my blog).

And due to Jessica's request, I threw together a button! See the column on the right if you want it. #


Sunday, September 07, 2003
      ( 6:16 AM ) Rebecca  

Well, I skipped step 3 because it wasn't used in the other steps (and step 2 was taking so long), so I went back and did the first half of step 3 while I was waiting for further instructions:

And yesterday (after I finished that piece) I got the instructions for the next part... so we will figure this thing out pretty soon.... #


Friday, September 05, 2003
      ( 8:26 AM ) Rebecca  
Step 5 is DONE!
Hooray! Done with step 5. Still can't figure out what on EARTH it will be. A lampshade? An incredibly silly hat?


Thursday, September 04, 2003
      ( 1:01 PM ) Rebecca  
Still plugging away on that step of the Mystery Project. I thought for a fraction of a second that I was done, but then I realised I was counting by 8s instead of 4s, so I still have to keep going. Tonight is DS's first soccer practise, so I can work on it there, if it doesn't get rained out.

Since I don't have any fun finished steps to show, I thought I'd share a funny "news" link I stumbled upon today.
(Note... any AOL users out there don't be offended! It's just a joke!)

One of the other knitters on KBTH had asked after Hermione's sweater in the first Harry Potter movie awhile back, and I managed to figure out how to get screenshots from the DVD. Anybody interested in trying to chart this?



Monday, September 01, 2003
      ( 8:31 AM ) Rebecca  
Smooch is DONE!
....well, almost.

The ends aren't ALL woven in... this is my least favourite part of projects.
I also whipped together some toile office curtains (I bought the fabric 6 months ago or so).
And finally, I bit the bullet and snipped and grafted to move the celtic knot square from the mystery project to where it was SUPPOSED to be, and am finishing up that step now.
So WIP count (well other than weaving in ends) is down to TWO! Mystery Project and the Argyle sock. (Well, there are some wintery things that I will pick back up when it's cooler, but they don't count because it is still too warm to work on them.) I am going to be VERY DISCIPLINED and not start any new projects until at least one of these two is done. Also, I am anticipating the upcoming KBTH Virtual Fair Isle Conference and need to save my knitting time for that. Got my yarn ready! (Look through the archives for the J&S package).

One of the problems with being creative is having start-itis. I will see something and either want to make it or (worse) have an idea of how to modify it and want to make the new thing immediately. It's very hard... especially when you have yarn stashed for projects that came up because of this. It takes all my willpower not to start 11 projects at once, but I know they would either never get done, or just take forever to be done. #



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Msknitaholic's Infinite Adventures

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